Jeff Weintraub: Could Candidate Gingrich actually come back from the dead? : The ongoing spectacle of the Republican nomination contest would be comical–if the prospect that one of these candidates might actually become President of the United States weren't so terrifying. In polls of likely Republican primary voters, support for Mitt Romney has long been stuck at a maximum of about 25%, and it's clear that the one thing the other 75% or so agree on is that they strongly don't want Romney…. [F]ew people believe any longer that Romney has any deep core of beliefs or principles–Romney continues to be a crypto-"moderate" or, as hard-right Republicans say, a RINO (Republican in Name Only). We might have to hope that they're right. So… who might emerge as the next Anyone-But-Romney front-runner?… [I]ncredibly… Newt Gingrich:
Newt Gingrich is… running ahead of Romney in both Ohio and Mississippi, and tied with him in Iowa… he is the second choice of Cain's supporters in all three of the places we polled over the weekend…. Newt is definitely rising and could really find himself in good shape if Cain's troubles continue.
What to make of this? As usual, Jonathan Chait nails it:
Trump begat Bachmann, and Bachmann begat Perry, and Perry begat Cain. I dismissed the whole [Newt] thing as too preposterous even for this Republican primary. Gingrich would appear to be disqualified on the hard-to-combine grounds of both being a left deviationist – here he is endorsing action to stop climate change with Nancy Pelosi; here he is savaging Paul Ryan’s budget – and of being such a right-wing loon the party couldn’t be mad enough to nominate him. (Here he is endorsing bizarre conspiracy theories about Barack Obama’s father; many other examples could be found.) JW: Don't forget this one & this one.]
But now there is actual evidence… [of] the Gingrich resurrection…. I … I … I don’t even know what to say here. It has simply never occurred to me before today that there would be even the slightest chance of the Republican Party nominating Newt Gingrich…. You nominate a telegenic front man, not an erratic, overbearing, morally repulsive tub of goo…. It is probably time for me to stop making predictions of any kind about this race.
Me, I was most impressed by Gingrich's call for the elimination of the Congressional Budget Office, on the grounds that Newt does not think he is ignorant enough about the effects of policies.